10 Ways to Make This the Year You Sleep Better

4. Sleep-proof the bedroom.

Bedrooms serve as the backdrop for efforts to arrive at quality sleep, and factors such as light, temperature, noise and distractions can have a big impact. Start the year off right by organizing and decluttering the room.

Avoid disrupting light by limiting electronics and using blackout shades or an eye mask. Those living in noisy surroundings can benefit from a sound conditioner or earplugs. At night, room temperatures should be cool and bedding clean and breathable.

5. Have a few bedtime strategies in mind.

Trying to go to sleep earlier than usual isn’t easy for some people. Many have difficulty tuning out the world at night. Become familiar with strategies like guided relaxation, deep breathing, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation and other calm-inducing tactics. (The Mayo Clinic’s site provides a Having tools on tap to fall back on helps avoid stress and anxiety around bedtime.

6. Ditch televisions and tablets. has pointed to the sleep-stealing effects of electronics, including TV, tablets, e-readers, laptops and smartphones. These devices give off light which affects the body’s sleep clock and creates mental distractions.

If struggling to fall asleep and having too few hours asleep sound familiar, reducing evening electronic use may be helpful.

7. Check for sneaky stimulants.

When striving to fall asleep earlier than usual, watch out for dietary sources of stimulants, especially in the afternoon and evening. Consider swapping caffeinated coffee, tea and sodas for pure water or decaf after lunch.

Other edibles like hot spices, chocolate and sugar can be stimulating to the digestive system, making them poor prebed snacks. Better late-night noshes according to include nuts, crackers, wheat bread, popcorn, veggies or small portions of protein.

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